Le cinéma

AMC Networks’ Sentai acquisition is the latest sign that anime is big business

AMC Networks (not the movie theater chain) has acquired the anime distributor Sentai from the Cool Japan Fund investment fund, the company announced Wednesday. As a result of the deal, AMC Networks will now own the anime-focused streaming service Hidive, which will join the company’s roster of targeted streaming services that already includes AMC Plus, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, and ALLBLK. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The acquisition is the latest signal of the growing importance of anime content to entertainment companies. Perhaps the most notable anime push was Sony’s $1.175 billion purchase of anime streaming service Crunchyroll from AT&T, which brought Crunchyroll and another anime streaming giant, Funimation, under one roof. But other companies have also been beefing up their anime offerings; Netflix has a huge slate of anime series, while Disney was willing to make an anime anthology series of one of its biggest franchises: Star Wars.